During the young-horse finals at Equita Lyon over the weekend, the four-, five- and six-year-olds went head to head over three rounds in their respective age groups to reveal the 2017 champions. Victory in the youngest group went to SF stallion Dagon des Baleines (Ugobak des Baleines - Quintera Alia [Z] x Quaprice Z [Holst[), ridden by Mathieu Lambert who headed the leaderboard over all three rounds. Dagon was co-bred by EARL des Baleines and Alain Fortin. Under the saddle of Aurore Castanet, the runner-up, Dragon du Medoc (Elan de la Cour - Night Madness x Kannan [KWPN]), bred by Bruno Luceyran, and third-placed Djerbah (Tobago Chevrier - Laurie des Boires x Dakar V) were also consistently placed during all three rounds. Bred by Elevage Deuquet, Djerbah was the only mare on the podium and, likewise, her pedigree was pure SF as far back as her fifth generation.

The top three five-year-old horses shared these same three places over the three rounds, with the gelding Cresus de Champloue (Clinton [Holst] - Tedeum de Champloue x Diamant de Semilly), bred by Jean-Marie Charlot and ridden by and Eric Lelievre, finally claiming top spot on the podium. First in round one, third in round two and, finally, the overall runner-up, Carbone du Cyan (Diamant de Semilly - Cartoon Carlay Z [Z] x Caretano Z [Holst]) was ridden by his co-breeder Gwenael Garo – an honour he shares with his wife, Nathalie – based at Elevage du Cyan, just 18 kilometres from Paris. Ridden by Aurelien Comte, Caraibes du Sud (Oscar des Fontaines - Oriele de Keos x Diamant de Semilly). Bred and owned by Chantal Comte, her Haras du Sud is also well known for breeding and preparing ponies for high-level competition, with more than 1,500 sold since 1990!

In the oldest age group, the six-year-old winner, Butterfly Ennemmel (Quaprice Bois Margot/ex Quincy [Holst] - Quintecence Ennemmel x Lux Z [Hann]) and David Jobertie led during the first and third rounds, but ranked second in round two to the overall runner-up Bacardi de B’Neville (Sisley de la Tour Vidal [sBs] - Nuance de B’Neville x Talent Platière) with Arthur Le Vot. The mare and gelding were bred, respectively, by Ilaria Antinori Marzichi Lenzi in Switzerland, and Jean-Baptiste Thiebot. Moving up from fifth after round one to finish third, the mare Badianne du Montceau (Kalaska de Semilly - Niobe de Nantuel x Rox de la Touche), ridden by Bastian Bauer and bred by Juliette Jean.

Noticeable is the frequency with which Diamant de Semilly’s name appears as either sire, dam’s sire or a second-generation ancestor among the top-placed horses.